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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Should you help your extended family financially?

Today Maina Kageni and Mwalimu Kingangi were talking about family. They referred to a story in the daily Star newspaper where a Chinese billionaire pledged his wealth to charity yet his brother was a security guard and the sister a dishwasher. So Maina and Mwalimu wanted to know, does one owe their family when you are wealthy? Mwalimu was of the opinion that it's everyman for himself when it comes to wealth. Let's discuss.

P.S: Yesterday's topic was almost a repetition and was not discussed.

My Human Opinion

Gimme gimme gimme...our handout culture!

Anyway, back to the topic

As the saying goes, charity begins at home. It is really hypocritical to help others while neglecting your family. Ask the Hurricane Katrina victims. Their government sends help all over the world yet it couldn't come to their rescue at their time of need.

Back to the Chinaman billionaire; methinks this is not the case here. The Chinese billionaire's brother and sister may not be balling or living large but they are earning a living, an honest living. Do you want the billionaire to give handouts to his siblings? I don't think so.

It would be better for the billionaire to open/buy/invest in a security firm for his brother and open/buy/invest in a cleaning company for his sister. Then monitor his investment. That way he will truly help his siblings. Then he can pledge his wealth to charity with a 'clean heart'.

It's important to help were possible, but help with reasonable limits. It is true that siblings and relatives especially in our country can drag you down. However, we shall not be in agreement with Mwalimu on this one.

Teach a man how to type, and he types his own stuff. Type for him, and you'll type forever. Or not.

My Biblical Opinion

The aspect of 'charity' of giving to the poor starts very early in the Old Testament. Even the Laws had such provisions
Leviticus 19: 9-10 
9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.
The Bible gives very clear advice about helping and especially helping the helpless,
1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
1 Timothy 5: 8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
 The provision priority is first to the immediate family then to relatives, then to the church family
1 Timothy 5: 17-18
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."
After helping the church, help those who cannot help themselves—cheerfully.
Romans 12 6-8:
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
And God rewards the cheerful giver
 Isaiah 58:10-11
 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
       and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
       then your light will rise in the darkness,
       and your night will become like the noonday.
 11 The LORD will guide you always;
       he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
       and will strengthen your frame.
       You will be like a well-watered garden,
       like a spring whose waters never fail.

Finally, as you give to charity, remember the Lord's warning: (Celebrities take note)
Matthew 6: 1-3 
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
 2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
 Satisfy the needs of the oppressed today, even if the 'oppressed' is your sibling. See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

beckynicol said...

I believe if we're in a position to help each other out, we should, expecting nothing in return. It's hard to do, but karma does exist and ALL you do comes back to you. Give and it will come back to you, double measure, eventually, when you least expect it. Be mean and you will find that 'he who eats alone should not ask for help when the floods destroy his crops'. On the other hand, if the sibling is lazy and does not value what is given to him, he has to be taught the hard way and denied this privileges. Depends on how well you know the person and his/her character. Either way, give if you can. After all, we'll die and leave all this behind and what do you want to be remembered as? A rich miser? or a caring sibling? #JustSaying.